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No "Stranger" Distinction
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.” -Leviticus 19:33
Our youngest daughter soaks up this world. She loves to do new things and meet new people. One of her curiosities is meeting new people and wondering if they are “ok.” She rarely meets a “stranger” and is very in tune to people’s needs. Her approach has challenged a number of interactive walls I have placed up through the years.
If we are paying attention, the Old Testament and the New Testament, in unified fashion, break down our sometimes engrained and often self-entrenching relational barriers, and reshape who it is we are to love, approach, and let in. The nation of Israel was set apart to be the hands of mercy and provide a place of sanctuary to the foreigners and temporary inhabitants of the promised land.
“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:34)
We follow suit. One of the most distinctive ways we demonstrate the radically transformative love of Jesus is how we treat others, particularly those who are “strangers, foreigners, and sojourners.” Our church’s vision, if taken seriously, pushes us to fearless, dangerously, and ridiculously demonstrate the Gospel. Through Jesus, there are no strangers among us.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36